(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

User Rating: 0 / 5

Please rate this article:
0 of 5 - 0 votes
Thank You for rating this article.

Swiss Air Force WK at Meiringen - Fliegerstaffel 11 and 19
Where? Meiringen, Switzerland
When? May 2014

The Swiss Air Force still operates two jet types in their fleet, the F-18 Hornet and the F-5E Tiger. During the annual WK (Wiederholungskurs - repetition course) Squadrons operating these aircraft relocate to a certain airbase in order to train their skills in a "€šwartime-like Environment"€˜. In May of each year it is usually time for the 11. and 18. Squadron to hold this exercise at the alpine airbase Meiringen.

Meiringen is located in the middle of Switzerland, having its runway embedded in a narrow valley and surrounded by farms, fields and cows. The scenery around the airbase is thus very scenic and quite unique, as are the caverns, those famous caves that can host a full two Squadrons of aircraft. Their inside is classified as top secret, but it can be derived that their inner includes everything that is needed for maintaining and operating the jets, as well as for '€šdaily life'€˜ activities.

During the WK the two Squadrons operate out of the caverns, and the jets do only appear outside with their pilots already sitting in the cockpit and ready to start the jet. Thus once the aircraft is out, the tow truck is being removed and the engines starts howling and the aircraft is ready within minutes to taxi. This procedure considerably reduces the time the jet sits vulnerable on the ground in emergencies.

The two Squadrons operating the F-5E and F-5F Tigers and F-18C and F-18D Hornets were flying regularly this day in around 5-6 waves, each consisting of up to 4 aircraft. Most of those were training flights in air-ground role, as the aircraft could be seen circling around the famous Axalp air-ground gunnery training range above the valley. Additionally the remarkable sound of the famous M61 Vulcan canon was gently heard reverberating in the valley.

Air-air training was also on the order of the day. For these flights, the "€šAggressor"€˜ Tigers do carry an external fuel tank painted in a high-visibility orange - or the scheme of the Patrouille Suisse to be better seen by their training partner.

Though the F-5E and F-5F Tigers were in full swing during this WK, after more than 30 years in Swiss service they are becoming a rare breed in Switzerland with their days being counted more or less. With the "€žNo"€œ to the Gripen NG of the Swiss public in a recent vote it remains to be seen what the strategy of the Swiss Air Force will be to replace those aging jets and renew their fleet that after disbanding the Tigers would consist of only 30 F-18 Hornets. It will be interesting to see how the Swiss Air Force reacts once this rare breed is becoming extinct in the Swiss Alps.

recently published

Axalp 2017

(Reading time: 1 minute)

Axalp Firepower Demo - Swiss Air Force Live Shooting Exercise 2017
Where? Axalp - Ebenflug Shooting Range, Switzerland
When?October 2017

The Axalp 2017 Firepower presentation of the Swiss Air Force at the Ebenfluh range was blessed this year with splendid weather throughout the week. Apart from shooting demonstrations with the F/A-18 Hornet and the F-5E Tiger II the Swiss Air Force did also perform flying demonstration with the Cougar and EC635 helicopters as well as the Pilatus PC-21 advanced trainer aircraft.

Read more ...

more Airshows

Komaki Airshow

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Komaki Airshow 2011
Where? Komaki/Nagoya, Japan
When? 23/10/2011

Komaki/Nagoya is the home of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - so to say the birthplace of the F-2 and F-15(D)J. It also hosts some of the C-130 Hercules aircraft as well as the KC-767 tanker fleet.

Read more ...

more Air-Air

O-1E Bird Dog

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Cessna O-1 Bird Dog air-air photography
Where? Hahnweide, Germany
When? September 2016

Flying low over the jungle on tree top level the exploits of the Cessna O-1E Bird Dog in South East Asia are legendary. However, this venerable warbird is maybe one of the lesser known and unglamorous aircraft types flown during the Vietnam War, being manned by USAF and South Vietnamese pilots. Nevertheless some of the Bird Dog’s relive a renaissance today, as they are a cheap and affordable warbird, and a joy to fly!

Read more ...

Twitter feed

My Warbird Book

photos on www.airfighters.com

More photos